Homeowner credits boulders for slowed erosion

Ottawa County

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A Holland man credits his $60,000 investment in large boulders for saving his property from devastating erosion.

Klaas DeBoer lives along Lakeshore Drive in Holland where some homeowners have experienced erosion that will cost them their home or force them to move it.

DeBoer also has damage, but his is far less significant than some of his neighbors who lost yards more dunethan he did.

Three months ago, after noticing the erosion that was already happening, DeBoer had the boulders placed at the edge of his property. At times, waves were large enough to crash over the boulders, but they do appear to have staved off some of the damage when comparing his property to his neighbors without protection.

“You have to make a choice between either paying for it now or paying more money when conditions get worse,” DeBoer told News 8 Wednesday. “It’s a bummer. It’s a no-win situation. You’re fighting Mother Nature and Mother Nature usually wins.”

DeBoer says he has lived in his home since 1998. His property features the picturesque view of Lake Michigan that he and his neighbors enjoy. It used to also feature a sandy beach, but that no longer exists.

He says the damage has likely cost him some of his property value. How much it will cost is yet to be seen as he waits to see the totality of the damage this bout of high-water levels does.

“It’s a beautiful sight, but you know those waves are hitting the bottom of your dune and eroding your dune,” DeBoer said.

He says the damage and costs associated with it is frustrating. But he doesn’t have to look far for reminders of how much worse it could be.

“Misery loves company. So, all I have to do is walk down the beach. Walk down the dune here about six houses down, and there’s a house teetering on the cliff,” DeBoer said. 

Despite the headaches now, DeBoer says he realizes the fortune of waking up daily to a view out of his back windows that most only dream of.

“The beauty still exceeds the pain — no question about it,” he said. “But ask me again in a few months.”

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